Wow. Where to begin! In this website post I will begin to share my journey from last week that highlights the incredible time I had in Sydney at the Google Innovators Academy. It was beyond amazing - words literally can not describe how fantastic it was!
I will share all that I can - what I remember, what we did, how to get in...it all!
So to even get in you first need to submit your application with ideas around what a need or problem you see in your learning context. Mine was all around 'How can we create a programme to help teach key ICT and google skills to junior students. Of course going into the application, this is such a broad problem to have and they really make you unpack it once you're there.
The application also consists of recommendations from current google innovators and also a serious amount of questions you need to answer to consider if you are the right fit. Check out my innovator application video below.
Now before you even get there, you have work to do. Online meetings, discussions, goal setting and more! This sets the scene and helps you really unpack your problem and root cause. This was the best part, as it heightened your desire to want to be there and helped focus your mind on the task.
Arriving on the first day was so surreal! All you could see was keen and excited educators ready to get started on this journey together. Everyone was introducing themselves to each other, trying to remember everyones name and getting to meet people you had been talking to online in person. We scored some free Google swag which was amazing also - I used my Google backpack on my first day back at school today.
Once we started, we had group challenges, group work and individual activities to complete in our time there. It was all targeted around our goal, technology or our journey that we were about to undergo. We were fortunate to listen to some amazing speakers that shared their expertise, knowledge and great feedback with us all.
We spent most of the time eating and drinking coffee. Which was definitely a highlight!! The unlimited food everywhere, and countless amazing places that Google actually had inside their buildings.
Apart from the eating and drinking, we spent the other time working on our projects. This stemmed from our initial question or problem that we worked into our goal, project and end point that we wanted to create.
My initial question ended up changing to:
How might we remove teacher input totally and leave technology teaching up to students?
This allowed me to explore what could really come from this project and open up new opportunities for me in this problem. I want to create something that all junior students would find beneficial and felt that this 'how might we' question would not be too broad or too specific. This helps it not be easily answered either along my project journey.
My project has now been led down a new path - creating a series of technology themed picture books that target key ICT skills for students and teachers in a junior classroom. Definitely not what I thought I would create! Fingers crossed for the journey ahead!
Overall, 150% recommend applying if you are looking to meet some amazing educators from across the world that will make you think about and question everything you have done and will do in the future. I really can't summarise enough how though provoking it was; how much I have learnt about myself, my teaching, and my future; and what an amazing place Google is itself. The atmosphere they create while you are there is just such an incredible vibe - you really want to visit or go and work there.
This amazing quote from Stuart Kelly really highlights what you should do and think about in the future.
What should we keep doing? What should we stop doing? What should we start doing? - Stuart Kelly
If you are interested in watching the livestream recording of our graduation, watch the Youtube video below! It will show you everyones project pitches including some quick snippet interviews with innovators at the event.
I am specifically 25 minutes into the video if you are looking for my project pitch!
If you are interested in applying then get onto it! You need to apply before the due date and to a cohort that is close to your area! I was fortunate that #SYD19 was was this year and close to my home - New Zealand.
Check out this Google site with all the information about the other innovators accepted and our application videos also.
Have a question about my time there, the application or anything Google? Send me an email below.
Google Docs is great for using in the classroom for both teachers and students. It has huge opportunities for collaboration, ease of use and making connections to others across the world. It is an online version of a similar app - Word, but with the data and app save online in the 'cloud'.
At my school I am introducing and implementing work using Google apps in class. A part of this is unpacking google drive and the apps that go along with it. This is a pdf I created that unpacks a little bit more information on what it looks like, the tools and how you can use it.
Check out this easy to read pdf attached below. It just provides you with quick snippets to show you an insight on how it works. Great for those who are unsure on how complicated it can be or how to use the tools.
Google is amazing! They have so many apps that are perfect for use within education that really enhance learning opportunities within the classroom. Google apps for education can transform learning activities and help students create, collaborate and extend the walls within.
Alongside this Google has a great 'Be Internet Awesome' programme to help students gain the skills to be safe when using the Internet. Be Internet Awesome teaches kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence.
Be Internet Awesome is broken down into five sections:
1. Be Internet Smart - share with care
2. Be Internet Alert - don't fall for fake
3. Be Internet Strong - secure your secrets
4. Be Internet Kind - its cool to be kind
5. Be Internet Brave - when in doubt, talk it out
These five sections make up the programme to teach students about internet safety. The programme takes you on a tour through each of the different sections where you complete activities and games to learn the skills. Its named Interland.
At the end students can even get a certificate for completing their journey or digital badges! Teachers, there is a curriculum to guide you and your students along the journey with a pledge that can be sent home to continue the conversations at home too.
Check out all the information about it here on Google.
Google Sites has changed since I first came across Google Sites and they are so much more user friendly! The ability to create sites, add your media and share these like any other Google app is awesome!
Today I gave a PLD session with my teachers at school on using Google Sites to help them with their inquiry. Our teachers are do lots of collaborative learning amongst classes with no a lot of ways to document and share their learning. Sure you could use a Google doc or Google Slide dec. But that doesn't give you the same options like Google Sites can.
If you are looking for some information on using Googles Sites or even some example Google Sites check out my PLD slide deck >> bit.ly/mrspriestleyictgooglesitesPLD.
Google Drawings is part of Google for Education apps and one of the easiest yet under used part of Google! Think of it as Google's version of paint, but better! The opportunities for yourself and your students to make is amazing - annotating on visuals and photos, creating illustrations or posters, digital activities and other creation!
These PD slides were created for a teacher PD I ran at my school. But of course, being the sharing type I am sharing these with you all! These slides show you some examples, links to these and activities you can do to learn all about Google Drawings! >> Google Drawing PD Slides
Feel free to contact me with any questions around Google Drawings or go to Google for Education online to see all that is out there! Happy drawing!
This weeks Google feature is focusing on the amazingness that is Google Classroom!
Very similar to Hapara, yet has its own differences which are specific to Google Apps. Currently, teachers at my school are using Hapara to share and distribute their google docs, with some openly commenting on how difficult it can be to navigate. In my own time, I have been completing my own sort of inquiry into the benefits on using Google Classroom and how using this is 100 times better than Hapara. Of course, everyone is different and has what works for them.
But I strongly believe in the amazingness of Google and Google Classroom!
What is Google Classroom?
Basically a google drive management, allowing teachers to share and assign assessments, questions, links, videos to students in their google 'classroom'. Students use their google sign ins to log into this classroom and view/work on their work. I teach in 11 classrooms in total. Monitoring who has done which activity is HECTIC. So integrating Google Classroom into my teaching has helped me keep track of who has done what and who needs more time.
Once you have navigated yourself around the stream, it is so easy to use! I teach 5-7 year olds and they are successfully able to log in, find their activity, complete it and hand it in.
If you would like to see how you can up skill yourself, see my post sharing my PLD Slides on Using Google in the classroom or click on the link here to view my slides.
Linking in to my previous post about Google Classroom, it has so many perks for you as a teacher.
I recently ran a PLD session at my school for teachers interested in using Google Classroom, and of course I want to share the link for you too! Click on the link here to view my slides and see how you too, can incorporate Google into your classroom easily!
Any questions about Google Classroom there is a huge support on Twitter and help online! Or of course, just ask me!
Google Drawings is an amazing tool part of the Google Apps for Eduction. There are so many ways you can use Google Drawings in your classroom for both teachers and students. Have a look at this Tech Tip which shows you the benefits and some examples of how you can use Google Drawings!
Mrs Priestley ICT blog is a place to read, download and view ideas!